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its genuine graces, that, we are commanded to bring every sentiment, practice, and character, to the standard of Heaven to the law and to the testimony; assured that, if they corre. spond not with these, it is because there is no light in them. When the superstitious come before the majesty of God with their services of will-worship, the interrogation of the Bible is, “ Who hath required this at your hands ?" These immoralities; those angry contentions; those bitter envyings and perseeutions, which have deformed the ecclesiastical page, and on account of which many have rejected the Christian name, are no more chargeable on the word of God than the robberies, for geries, and murders, committed in Great Britain, are imputable to the laws of the land. The laws of England do not more explicitly consign the perpetrators of these crimes to the punishment of dcath, than the declarations of the Bible solemnly assure us, that the adorable Judge will at last say to all the workers of iniquity, “Depart from me, I never knew you!” Why, then, do ye not, O ye enemies of revealed truth,—why do ye not of yourselve's judge righteous judgment, separating the chaff from the wheat, and the precious from the vile ? An answer will be required at the bar of God.
Finally, Deism is often the offspring af a graceless profession of the gospel. Some of the most decided, zealous, and embittered infidels in our native land, once appeared among the followers of a crucified Saviour. Like the stony-ground hearers, they received the word with joy; or were strongly wrought upon by the terrors of the Lord; but having no root of genuine conversion in themselves ; they only endured for a while, and, in a time of temptation, fell away. When the charm of novelty, and the fervour of passion subsided, the love of the world and sin (suspended in its sensible exercise, but never radically subverted) began to resume its influence: conscience remonstrated, and tormenting fears were engendered. For a time, inclination and conscience maintained a doubtful contest; but who can bear such a continued martyrdom? The truth of the Bible is the source of agony, and the scal of final ruin to the soul that is not upright with God. Here, then, is the dilemma. - If they admit divine revelation to be true, then they are inevitably miserable for both workis; but if they deny its authenticity, and shake off its authority, they are promised the gratifications of sin without present remorse, or the forebodings of a future reckouing. Under circumstances so urgent, can we wonder that the wretched asylum of Deism is resorted to as the only system adapted to the exigence, or that its gloomy cause should be so strenuously advocated by persons wbose interests require that revelation should not be truc? Sheffield
THE HYPOCRISY OF COVETOUSNESS.
To the Editor. Having been much pleased in reading Dr. C. Mather's Essays to do Good,
and fearing that the zeal of many good men is damped by the want of co-operation in those who have the means, the insertion of the follow, ing Extract from the late Mr. Robinson's Morning Exercises on Covetousness, will oblige
Reisik. “ Mark his hypocrisy! He weeps over the profligacy of the poor, and says, It is a sad thing that they are brought up without being educated in the fear of God. He laments every time the bell tolls the miserable condition of widows and orphans. He celebrates the praise of learning, and wishes public speakers had all the powers of a learned criticism, and all the graces of elocution. He prays for the downpouring of the Spirit, and the outgoings of God in his sanctuary, and then how his soul would be refreshed! Whąt a comfortable Christian would he be then! Tell this son of the morning that there are schoolmasters waiting to educate the poor, tutors longing to instruct youth, and young men burning with a vehement passion for learning and oratory ;'- tell him that the gratitude of widows, the hymns of orphans, and the blessings of numbers ready to perish, are the presence of God in his church. Tell him, All these wait to pour themselves like a tide into his congregation, and wait only for å little of his money to pay for cutting a canal. See how thunderstruck he is! His solemn face becomes lank and black; he suspects he has been too liberal already, - his generosity has been often abused ; - why should he be taxed and others spared ? - the Lord will save his own elect; God is never at a loss for means; no exertions will do without the divine presence and blessing; and, beside, his property is all locked up. Behold, it is hid in the earth in the midst of my
tent! ir Let us respect truth even in the mouth of a miscr. His ignoble soul tells you, that he would not give a wedge of gold, to save you all from eternal ruin; he
God is not like him; God loves you, and will save you freely. This is strictly and literally true. There have been thousands of poor people beside you, who have been instructed and animated, converted and saved, without having paid a penny for the whole; but this, instead of freezing, should melt the hearts of all who are able, and set them a running into acts of generosity.”
QUERIES. Mr. Editor,
It is now about twelve months since I sent the following Query to be inserted in the Evangelical Magazine. As it ap. pừars to have been overlooked, and as the subject is of great im
portance, I shall offer no apology for troubling you with it a second time.
The practice alluded to is become so general, that a candid enquiry in regard to its propriety, is deemed absolutely essential to the due observance of the Sabbath. If vending books on that clay be unscriptural, of which, I think, there can be no doubt, the evils resulting from it cannot be exposed too soon, that the practice may be discouraged and abandoned. But, if allowable, then our pastors and teachers, if they choose, may profit by the sale of religious books, and our churches may be made the general depositories of them, for their more easy circulation among assembled professors on the Christian Sabbath.
“ Is not the selling of Sermons, Hymn Books, or any other kind of religious books, at places of Worship, on the Sabbath. Day, a violation of the Fourth Commandment, and a turning the house of God into a house of merchandize ? Can any one be justified in receiving the profits arising from it * ?"
LEX ET EVANGELIUM.
* Another Correspondent complains of the customy of selling Tiekets at Chapels on the Lord's Day; and says, he has heard the money chinking while the minister was engaged in prayer to God !
If a Christian is placed, in providence, in the house of an irreligions master, who frequently requests him (when, for particular reasons, he wishes to be alone) to deny him to any oCcasional enquirers, is it bis duty to comply with the request ?
A Testimony to the Holy Bible, by the tale Rev. and learned Abp. Secker.
The Bible is not indeed a plan of religion delineated with ininute accuracy to instruet men, as in something altogether new, or to excite a rain admiration and applause; but it is soinewhat unspeakably more great and noble, comprehending, in the grandest and niost magnificent order, along with every essential of that plan, the various dispensations of God to mankind, from the formation of this earth to the consummation of all things. Other books may afford us much entertainment and instruction ; max gratify our curiosity, — may delight our imagination, may improve our understanding, - may calır our passions, - may exalt our sentiments,
may even improve our hearts; – but they have not, they cannot have, that authority in what they affirm, in what they promise and threaten, that the Scriptures have. There is a peculiar weight and energy in them, which is not to be found in any other writings. Their denunciations are inore awful, their convictions stronger, their consolations more powerful, their counsels more authentic, their warnings inore alarming, their expostulations more penetrating. There are passages in them throughout so sablime, so pathetic, full of such energy and force upon the heart and conscience, yet without the least appearance of labour and study for that pur. pose. Indeed, the design of the whole is so noble, so well saited to the sad condition of human kind, the morals have in them such purity and dignity, the doctrines, so many of them alove reason, yet so perfectly reconcilable with it, the expression is so majestic, yet familiarized with such easy simplicity, that the more we read and study these writings with pious disposi-, Lions and judicious attention, the more we shall see and feel the hand ef God in them.
J. S. B.
THE PRAISE OF PATIENCE. PATIENCE is the guardian of faith, the preserver of peace, the cherisher of love, the teacher of humility: Patience governs the flesh, streugthens the spirit, sweetens the temper, stifles anger, extinguishes envy, subdues pride; she bridles the tongue, refrains the hands, tramples on temptations, endures persecutions, consummates martyrdom: Patience produces unity in. the church, loyalty in the state, harınony in families and societies ; she comforts the poor, and moderates the rich ; she makes us hnmble in prosperity, cheersul in adversity, unmoved by calumny and reproach; she teaches us to forgive those who have injured us, and to be first in asking forgiveness of those whom we have injured; sbe delights the faithful and invites the unbelieving ; she adorns the woman and approves the man; is loved in a child, praised in a young man, admired in an old man; she is beautiful in either sex, and in every age. Behold her appearance and attire: her countenance is calm and serene as the face of heaven, unspotted by the shadow of a cloud, and no wrinkle of grief or anger is seen in her fore- . head; her eyes are the eyes of doves for meekness, and on her eye-brows sit cheerulness and joy: ber mouth is lovely in silence; her complexion and colour that of innocence and security; while, like the virgin, the daughter of Sion, she shakes her heall at the adversary, and laughs him to scorn. She is clothed in the robes of the martyrs, and in her hand she holds a sceptre in the form of a cross. She rules not in the whirlwind and stormy tempest of passion; but her throne is the humble and contrite heart, and her kingdom is the kingdom of peace. This portrait is copied by Bishop Horne from Tertullian's noble treatise on
the subject. Sermon x. vol. ii.
THE EXCESSIVE ANTIQUITY OF THE CHINESE DISPROVED. It is well known that the Chinese pretend to an excessive antiquity. Their chronology exceeds ail bounds of probability: and, could their pretensions be verificd, the Mosaic account of the creation must necessarily be discredited. But we have a singular fact to state, which will prove that their boasted antiquity really falls within the limits of the Mosaic Chronology. For the evidence we are about to produce, we are indebted to the discoveries of modern astronomy. The Chinese have ever made a point of inserting in their calendars remarkable eclipses, or conjunctions of the planets, together with the name of that Emperor in whose reign they were observed. To these events they have also fixed their own dates, There is a very singular conjunction of the sun, moon, and several planets, recorded in their annals, as having taken place almost at the very commencement of their remote history. The far-famed Cassini, to ascertain the fact, calculated back, and decisively proved, that such an extraordinary conjunetion actually did take place at China, on Feb. 26, 2012 years before Christ. This falls four hundred years after the flood, and a little after the birth of Abraham. Here are two important facts ascertained. The one is, that the Chinese are a very ancient nation ; and the other, that their pretensions to antiquity beyond that of Moses are unfounded; because this event, which they themselves represent as happening near the beginning of their immense calculations, fälls far within the history and chronology of the Seriptures. Collyer's Scripture Fucts.
ANECDOTES. An itinerant minister having preached at G. H. several times, with a prospect of success, was in one of his visits much discouraged to find that a set of players had given notice by hand-bills that they were io perform directly opposite to the house in which he was to preach, and precisely at the same time; but, to his great surprize and pleasure, he found the house unusually crowded, insomuch, that he with difficulty entered; while he was informed, that the players had but three persons to attend them, and, in Gonsequence, left the place without performing.- What can more strikingly shew the utility of village preaching?
The two following anecdotes relating to the journey of Mr. Collison and Mr. Frey, to make collections for the Missionary Society, may be worthy of notiee: At
in Yorkshire, after a handsome collection on the preceding evening, a poor man, whose wages are about 28s. per week, brought the next morning at breakfast-time, a donation of tweniy guineas. Our friends hesitated to receive it; doubting whether it was consistent with his duty to his family and the world to contribute such a sum; when he answered to the foilowing effect: “ Before I knew the grace of our Lord, I was a poor drunkard : I never could save a shilling. My family were in beggary and rags; but since it has pleased God to renew me by his grace, we have been industrious and frugal; we have not spent many idle shillings; and we have been enabled to put something into the bank; and this I freely offor to thc blessed cause of our Lord and Saviour.”—This is the second donation of this same poor man, to the same amount !!!
At W., in the same county, Mr. From in the course of a sermon happened to say, that “if the ladies who came out of Egypt could give their golden trinkets to Aaron, to make a calf for the support of idolatry, surely Christian ladies would not deem it a great sacrifice to give up some of their trinkcts, for the noble and benevolent cause of diffusing among the Heathen the unsearchabie riches of Christ.” The next morning a box was sent to Mr. C- --, hy an unknown lady, containing an amber necklace, a pair of gold car-rings, and a diamond riog, as a present to the Missionary Socieiy.
FOR MINISTERS. One can never go about study or preaching, with much success, if any thing lie heavy on the conscience.
A ininisier had need look to it, that he profits by all his preaching himself; because be knows not what others do: Many, he is sensible, get no good; of many more he is uncertain : so that if he get no good himself, his la bours may be in vain altogether.
Few rare and worthy men continue so to their end; but, one way or other, suffer some declension or eclipse to befal them: falling into coldness, being surprized by some gross sin, or seduced and entangled by the world. Therefore, let me beware,
There is much need for Ministers, as well as private Christians, to pray to be kept in old age, and unto the end, as at any time; for many who have run well, and acted very cominendably for a while, have sadly fallen, to the great injury of the cause of Christ. This may moderate our grief, when young men of great hopes are taken away.
0! how much ratner would I die in peace quickly, than live and disgrace the gospel, and be a stumbling bloock to any!
Rogers of Dedham, in CHRISTIANÆ MILITIÆ VIATICUM, an excellent little book for Ministers, published by Dr. Ryland.